My partner has recently been having trouble sleeping, which is one of the signs of anxiety. Thus, I thought I’d create an article about the symptoms and signs of anxiety so people would realise if they’re suffering from anxiety so they could get support sooner.
What Is Anxiety?
It’s normal to experience some feelings of anxiety, fear, and worry, as they’re normal responses to some situations. It’s normal to worry about an exam, exam results, or even when waiting for medical results (I know the latter has been something I’ve worried about numerous times). These kinds of feelings evolved to help us assess risk and how to protect ourselves in a dangerous situation.
Feelings of worry, anxiety and fear are what drive our fight or flight response, so they’re not bad emotions because there are no bad emotions, they all have their uses. When your fight or flight kicks in, you’re brain then reacts by releasing hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. This helps prepare you so you can either get away or fight to save yourself. Your body will return to normal once the stimulus that caused the fight or flight response to kick in has gone or been reallocated as not being a threat.
However, the problem is that we’re able to trigger the same response when no real danger exists. This is what it is to have an anxiety disorder. Having this fight or flight response activating over threats that aren’t real can seriously affect your quality of life. It will also lead to you thinking things are worse than they actually are.
Anxiety disorders can take many forms, from trichotillomania to generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety, phobias, and more. I’ve personally been diagnosed with social anxiety and agoraphobia, but I also have problems with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), although I have no formal diagnosis of the latter, yet.
Symptoms Of Anxiety
There are a number of symptoms of anxiety that can be a good indicator of an anxiety disorder, and these symptoms can be split into both mental and physical symptoms.
- Racing thoughts.
- Overthinking you can’t control.
- Difficulties concentrating
- Feelings of dread, panic, or a sense of impending doom.
- Heightened alertness.
- Feeling on edge.
- Sleep disturbance.
- Changes to your appetite.
- Wanting to escape from certain situations you find yourself in.
- Dissociation – feeling like you’re not connected to your body.
- Worrying about feeling anxious and that people will notice you’re anxious.
- Fast and heavy breathing.
- Blushing and/or hot flushes.
- Dry mouth.
- Fast or erratic heartbeat.
- Hair loss.
- Lack of energy or heavy fatigue.
- Stomach aches and feeling sick.
Signs Anxiety Might Be Unknowingly Affecting Your Life
Have you noticed that you’re more easily agitated or irritated lately? Are you snapping at people around you over things that would normally not cause you to do so? If you’ve answered yes to either of those, then it’s likely you’re feeling more stressed and anxious than usual.
It can be common for people who are developing issues around anxiety to notice that they wake up in the morning feeling anxious. As stated, this was one of the signs of anxiety my partner has experienced recently. This can be a sign that you’re experiencing a lot of stress in your life, which could be work-related or because of something in your personal life. The best way to tackle this kind of anxiety would be to work on managing your stress and resolving the causes of it. Although there might be instances where there’s not a lot you can do, in which case learning to accept the things you can’t change can also help.
Because stress and anxiety can cause sleep problems, you’ll also start to feel more fatigued. Furthermore, having episodes of anxiety and being more alert to dangers, in general, will slap your energy as well.
I think a lot of us have found ourselves being left in an ambiguous state where not knowing something causes us to worry. A classic example of this is a cliché in TV shows and films, the “we need to talk” situation. Because you don’t know what they want to talk about, and with us all being primed for that being a bad thing, we’ll often be stuck thinking about what these worse things could be. One way around that could be to just ask for clarification about what they’d like to talk about. Even if it’s bad, knowing will still help with your levels of anxiety.
Anxiety can affect the way you eat in several ways. For some, they’ll eat more or eat unhealthy food options. Alternatively, others might cut back on eating as a way of asserting control due to feeling like they’ve lost control in other areas of their life.
Some people might find it difficult to relax during their time off, which is another indicator that you might be suffering from anxiety issues. Often anxiety can be comorbid with depression as well.
Examining past situations that might have gone bad to problem-solve or to learn from what happened, can be beneficial. However, becoming preoccupied with thinking and examining bad situations isn’t, which is often referred to as rumination. Getting lost in thoughts like this is rarely useful because there’s nothing that can be done to change what happened, thus wasting time and effort on this is just you torturing yourself. Ruminating like this is a common habit of someone being affected by anxiety, and will affect your quality of life.
I experienced this issue myself, overanalysing events that happened to me decades ago. It was so bad that I was unable to sleep because my mind would be consumed with these thoughts. Thus, if you’re experiencing this preoccupation when you’re trying to sleep, then it’s likely you have anxiety and unresolved issues that need addressing. For me, it was processing the past trauma that I needed to resolve to stop me from being an insomniac.
If you’re finding that you’re in need of more reassurance and external validation than usual, then this could be a sign that you’re suffering from anxiety. In an ideal world, we’d all focus on internal validation to make ourselves feel good about ourselves. With conditions like anxiety, but also with conditions like borderline personality disorder as well, external validation is more important. For the most part, it’ll just mean that you’ll rarely feel happy with your efforts. However, it can also lead to situations where you can be taken advantage of through codependency, abuse, and being a people-pleaser.
If you’re finding that you’re more concerned about what people think of you, this could also be a sign that you’re becoming anxious. For example, thinking your co-workers think you’re not good enough at your job. However, it could also manifest itself in how you present yourself, changing how you look, and how you talk and being preoccupied with your appearance and having to check how you look more frequently.
Another sign you might be feeling anxious is if you start to develop fears about things you hadn’t had a fear of before. I once developed a temporary anxiety about walking near rivers and canals, which caused me to have anxiety attacks and tunnel vision whenever I was near a body of water.
If you’re making up excuses to avoid social situations, especially situations you’d normally engage in with no issues, then that too is a sign of anxiety. So, have you noticed any reluctance to interact with others in social situations?
Are you experiencing any muscle aches recently ache you don’t normally have? Another sign of anxiety is that you may start tensing muscles when you’re in anxiety-inducing situations, so if you’re experiencing unusual muscle aches, then this could be an indicator of an anxiety issue.
If you’re struggling to focus on tasks, relaxation, or even watch TV, then you may be being affected by anxiety. It’s hard to concentrate on things when you’re preoccupied with worry and anxiety. Thus, if you’re finding it hard to stay engaged in tasks at work/home or aren’t paying attention to conversations you’re in, then you might want to talk to someone so you can find this source of anxiety so you can tackle it.
The longer you ignore the signs of anxiety, the more you leave your anxiety to grow. The more your anxiety grows, the more it’ll affect your day-to-day activities, reducing your quality of life. It will have a knock-on effect on how you look after yourself, work, find and maintain relationships, try new things, and just generally be happy.
As always, leave your feedback in the comments section below. Also, feel free to share your experiences with anxiety and the early warning signs of anxiety noticed in the comments section below as well. If you want to stay up-to-date with my blog, then sign up for my newsletter below. Alternatively, get push notifications for new articles by clicking the red bell icon in the bottom right corner.
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Unwanted Life readers.
83 thoughts on “Symptoms And Signs Of Anxiety To Watch Out For”
Great post! I’m in an area where a lot of the places people go to relax (movie theatres, restaurants) are closed…and now with the UK on lockdown, you’ve provided some great information everyone should read. I started the year dealing with severe OCD, so my anxiety got so great that by the fall, the only thing I could concentrate on was Marvel movies. (I saw the entire Infinity Saga and was somehow so in the dark all these years that I was surprised when the Hulk showed up in Thor: Ragnorok!) I blogged about losing myself in that dreamland and trying to get out of it so I can face my fears: https://6in10.blogspot.com/2020/11/finding-my-way-out-of-dreamland.html
Keep up the good work, and thank you for such an insightful post!
The lockdown has been tough, at the start of it my anxiety went into overdrive about catching covid19 that my hands were were bleeding from over washing and the intrusive thoughts were all consuming. Eventually I was able to calm myself down once the first month had passed
Great tips and things important especially, nowadays, with the covid thing. Always worrying and the lockdown. This will be very helpful.
I wish this was the sort of conversation taught in Middle School and High School. Do often we don’t know how to recognize what we are feeling and what those feelings mean!
I love what your blog is accomplishing. Keep it up!!!
Actually, yeah, it would be great if they taught mental health in a style like this in schools
It really would. We do SEL (social emotional learning) but they are stupid prescripted lessons. We need candid conversation-style lessons. Not just “it’s ok to feel things” but what it might actually look and feel like. What that might mean we should be open to, or respond to, or be proactive about.
Depression is huge! At the VERY LEAST we need more conversations about the normalization of it and coping/preventative tactics.
Indeed, saying it’s alright to feel things does seem overly simplistic, and should be used to start a more meaningful conversation about mental health
As usual – one of the things I like best about your articles is how thoroughly you cover your topic. Yet another great post!
Thank you ☺️
Always find your posts helpful and informative! I have been going to therapy last year for social anxiety and that helped a lot. I think there’s still a huge stigma on anxiety in general that it can be difficult to get help for it. Thanks for sharing x
There’s still a lot of stigma around mental health in general unfortunately, but if you’re struggling with anxiety you should check out my graded exposure post and my free workbook. It really helped me with my anxiety disorders
You always have such great well informed content. I related to everything. I catch myself doing things that I know is related to my anxiety and I’m certain of it. This is a great as serving as a reminder that we need to be aware of these patterns. It’s so deep rooted.
Pattern recognition is a great step towards breaking said pattern and adopting a healthier one
This is a great post – a conversation that is SO important. Especially with everything going on in the world today, triggering anxiety in those who may not have noticed it before. I know that I’ve always been one of those people who genuinely struggles to relax. That has been a battle my whole life and was the first reason that my Dr started to talk to me about the possibility of some level of anxiety in my life.
At least you found someone that recognised it in you so you could get the support you needed
Great article, very important especially nowadays when we enter yet another lockdown over here in the UK and people struggle more than ever with Mental Health issues. Thanks for sharing
Anxiety is a troubling thing that effects many people; I have brushes with it from time to time too, and this list of both physical and mental symptoms is spot on. Learning to recognize our need to relax/ seek help is the first step in living our best life. 🙂
Indeed it is
My lingering anxieties have definitely lifted their heads during 2020 but so far I am managing them. Now that we’re again in lockdown I find it weirdly easier because my kids are at home. Ok homeschooling is not the best thing that happened but sending my kids out there every morning was in hindsight making me really anxious.
I certainly don’t envy parents through the pandemic. My partner’s mental health has been terrible through the pandemic with anxiety around catching it bordering on OCD levels of anxiety and behaviours
Yo UL! This is helpful. Not just noting the signs, but also knowing the science behind it, all lends to managing ourselves better.
I’ve had anxiety my whole life so it’s the usual for me, but my partner is the worst sleeper ever. He says he doesn’t have anxiety but we’ve tried everything else. You have me thinking now.
It’s often an overlooked cause of sleep issues because it only seems to effect your sleep, so it’s easy to dismiss it as a cause, but working out the cusses of anxiety and stress might return that much needed sleep
As someone who has dealt with sometimes paralyzing anxiety over the years, I truly appreciate this post 🙂
I hope you’ve seen improvements to that anxiety over the years
Somewhat recently I’ve learned to cope with anxiety better, for a variety of reasons. Really, recognizing the signs that lead to anxious states certainly helps make the anxiety attacks much less severe. 🙂
I’m glad there’s been improvements. You might want to check out graded exposure, which I found useful with my anxiety disorders
My anxiety peaked so much during the beginning of the first lockdown and finding healthy ways to cope with it made my life easier. This post is great because I know a lot of people might be feeling some of these things but not aware that it’s anxiety.
It’s so easy to be unaware of them until they start to become a real problem
Thanks for sharing these signs they are really useful to know. So many of us suffer from anxiety at some point in our lifetime but if we can’t recognise it, it can be difficult to do something about it.
I’ve been feeling more anxious lately. for an entire week i was suffering from insomnia ( falling asleep after 7 am) and my mind has been in this worried state. i don’t really know why it comes about sometimes.
i had it under control for a while and now it’s coming back. i feel like i need to do a bit more self care
Sorry to hear your struggling with anxiety. Self-care is one place to start, but maybe taking a more proactive approach to overcoming your anxiety might bring better results
Hot flushes is definitely a symptom of worrying I get, another is sickness! This was a very interesting, informative post thank you for sharing 🙂 I know that I’m a worrier for sure, and I’ve got better at managing things as the years have gone by.
That sounds like a pretty serious case of anxiety and stress, have you sort help for it or have you just learned to cope with it?
Ah maybe I made it sound worse than it is- I definitely have bouts of worry about certain things but I’ve learned to handle it 🙂
Ok good, just as long as you know it’s ok to get support if you need it. Some people dismiss getting help as they feel they’ll be wasting the therapists time, but that’s simply not true
That’s very true, people definitely need to know it’s okay to ask for help if they find they’re really struggling with any mental health issues 🙂
I haven’t experienced much anxiety in my life, until this past year. It has been such a weird feeling for me. Thank you for this information because it really helped me understand what is happening.
I’m.glad it helped
This applies to so many people in these isolated uncertain times
Hopefully the pandemic will end in 2021
I feel like the last year has been anxiety producing to the max, even people I know who have never suffered from anxiety are struggling now, this is some great information!
It’d certainly be a little less anxiety inducing if you could trust people to do what was needed to stop the spread of covid19, like hand washing and mask wearing
A great informative post. I have suffered from anxiety and depression for years now. At the start of lockdown was hard but I spend time looking after myself. However, when I had to wear a mask for the first time, I had my first anxiety attack in times. Thank you for sharing.
Sorry to hear about the attacks wearing a mask caused, I hope it’s no longer an issue
Amazing post! I love how you listed both the mental and the physical signs to watch out for. It’s so important to pay attention to the changes that we go through daily because a lot of people fail to realize the impact that our mental thoughts can have on our way of living. I have experienced anxiety a lot this past year and I’m sure most have over Covid and the safety of our families. One way that I have fought against it is through exercise and that has really helped with a lot of the symptoms especially sleeping better. What are some other ways that you know of or have personally done that can help people overcome or manage anxiety better? Thanks!
I guess that would depend on how someone’s anxiety effects them. For stuff like phobias and social anxiety, graded exposure therapy all day. Sitting down and workout what your anxieties are, what triggers them, and then problem solving steps to take it is all I can really suggest for blanket anxiety management
This is a fantastic resource and you’ve covered the different symptoms and ways anxiety can manifest and affect your life so well. I nodded along to a lot of this. I also have rather OCD thinking (stemming from physical OCD as a kid) and have a tendency to overanalyse events from years ago too. It goes around in a vicious cycle. Sometimes indecisiveness can become very painful too, piquing anxiety a lot when it’s already high. This past year has been awful, anxiety through the roof. Fantastic post!
Thank you ? Sorry to hear that this last year has been really bad for your anxiety, hopefully it’ll start getting better as the vaccines are rolled out
I really like how you listed not only the mental but also the physical symptoms of anxiety. I have for the most part been able to control my symptoms of anxiety but like most people COVID-19 has escalated it a bit especially with having to work from home. But I had to look at it on the bright side that at least I have the option to be able to work from home. I been finding meditating, exercising and focusing on my breathing techniques has been helping. Great article !!!!
I’m glad you’ve found ways to help manage your anxiety. Is this something you blog about, if you do blog?
Amazing and informative post and very timely with all that is going on with Covid-19. I love how you not only mentioned the mental health signs allinked to symptoms but you also pointed out the physical symptoms. Many people do not know that a racing heart rate, upset stomach, sweating can all be signs of possible anxiety.
Thanks so much for sharing
The main one I keep seeing or hearing about in others recently is sleep disturbances
Thank you for writing this. Few days back only I was talking to a friend, whose mom is having anxiety issues…was talking and discussing a lot about this. I will forward this link to her. Hope you and your partner feel better soon…
I hope your friends mum finds it useful and she finds ways to manage her anxiety
Good informative post! This is very important for all of us to know. Thank you for sharing. Btw, I have one question for you. Is talking and crying in sleep a sign of anxiety too?
It’s possible it could be caused by anxiety, but it could also be something else. People can do strange thing in their sleep, like talking, walking, eating, etc. caused by the brain not completely switching to sleep mode, I believe. So it might be best to speak to a doctor to rule out other potential causes
Great post! Some of the signs and symptoms of anxiety are so subtle and even seemingly unrelated! It’s so important for people to know the symptoms.
They can go so easily go undetected if you don’t know what they are
Really informative and helpful post! I’m currently doing my college project on the correlation between cortisol and mental health so this was a good read for more insight into how anxiety presents itself!
Sounds like it’ll be an interesting project, you should turn it into a blog post when you’re done
Thanks for sharing these anxiety symptoms – oftentimes, people don’t know that things like muscle aches and hair loss are related to anxiety, but it can cause all sorts of surprising symptoms. I think due to the stressful year we’ve all had, more people than ever are struggling with anxiety, so this was a really well-timed and informative post.
It’s be hard not to feel the mental health strain with what’s going on at the moment
A very informative post which will be sure to help those wondering if they may be experiencing anxiety. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for reading
Needing more external validation and worrying others will see your anxiety are two that I’ve encountered. Sleep is a biggie, too. Thank you for making the unseen feel seen.
Happy to help spread awareness
This is so well written and you highlighted all the struggles that anxiety sufferers go through. The physical symptoms are very real, and can be quite frightening too. I’ve had headaches for day, burning skin, chest pains, neck tension etc etc. Thank-you so much for discussing this to help people.
I’m glad you liked my article ?
This is such important information. It is important we listen to our body and deal with the anxiety. It is something that we deal with a lot in our family. Thanks for a great post.
Sorry to hear that anxiety is common in your family
This is so helpful, it’s easy to become filled with anxiety with everything going on.
An excellent read! I’m working on a piece now about the newly minted cliché “It’s Okay Not To Be Okay” – your post gave me some food for thought!
I’m glad my article gave you food for thought for one of your own you’re working on ?
Really powerful post, I have lots of anxiety nowadays with all the Covid stuff. it is hard
Thanks for sharing this. ?
Covid19 has really added to the mental strain of a lot of people
Sorry to hear your partner is struggling with anxiety. I know what that feels like and it’s not nice to deal with. All of these things I have encountered before, but I’m trying my best to get it under control with meditation, journaling, exercise and prayer. Great post – Thank for sharing. Jade MumLifeandMe